Has your supervisor ever walked up to you and said “It is your turn to do the monthly BY PROVINCIAL and STATE Law fire extinguisher inspections on site”. Oh I’m sure they have if not why not and are you trained and HOW HARD CAN IT BE, it just a big red cylinder this can’t be that hard right!
Well for some folks you might as well ask them to build a car, or others it is a deer in the head light stare and for the TRAINED competent worker it is OK I needed a walk anyways to stretch my legs!
Why inspect your fire extinguisher monthly? The primary reason is to ensure that it is visible and ready to use in case of a small fire. Many times during loss prevention surveys, we will find that the fire extinguisher is not in its designated area, it could be missing altogether, vandalized, the pressure gauge is not in the proper operating range or the tamper seal has been broken. Should your office experience a fire, any of these conditions could affect the use of the fire extinguisher and the ultimate outcome. The time between monthly inspections is obviously far less than relying on just the normal annual fire extinguisher maintenance. Without the monthly inspection, a fire extinguisher could be inoperable and this could jeopardize you, your staff and your business.
Here are some things to look for when conducting a monthly fire extinguisher inspection:
1. Is the portable fire extinguisher in its proper position? It should be located on a wall bracket or in a cabinet underneath signage or a symbol that identifies its purpose.
2. Is the portable fire extinguisher accessible and visible, not obstructed? Items should not be stored in front of or adjacent to the portable fire extinguisher.
3. Are the operating instructions on the portable fire extinguisher legible and facing outwards towards you?
Mounted in an easily accessible place, no debris or material stacked in front of it.
Safety pin is in place and intact. Nothing else should be used in place of the pin.
Label is clear and extinguisher type and instructions can be read easily.
Handle is intact and not bent or broken.
Pressure gauge is in the green and is not damaged or showing “recharge”
Discharge hoses/nozzle is in good shape and not clogged, cracked, or broken
Extinguisher was turned upside down at least three times (shaken)
Discharge Hose/nozzle is in good shape and not clogged, cracked, or broken
It is mounted in an easily accessible area, with nothing stacked around it.
Safety Pin is in place and not damaged.
Pressure gauge is in the green and not damaged or showing “recharge”
Label is readable and displays the type of extinguisher and the instructions for use.
It is not rusty, or has any type of corrosion build up.
Extinguisher was turned upside down at least three times. (Shaken)
The location of the extinguisher is easily identifiable. (signs)